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Official Opening of “The Route of Cheese” in the Eastern Rhodopes

On  September 18th 2012, the tourist attraction “The Route of Cheese” will be officially opened in the sheep farm of the Huskov family in the village of Pelevun, Ivaylovgrad Municipality.

Tourists and visitors can witness the milking process and the production process of the yoghurt and cheese. The official opening of the attrcation will be attended by Ivaylovgrad Mayor, Diana Ovcharova, the leader of the Bulgarian-Dutch project New Thracian Gold (NTG), Frank Zanderink, farmers and B&B owners from NTG network in the Eastern Rhodopes.

Miroslav Huskov, the owner of the sheep farm, is member of the New Thracian Gold network. The project supports him with training and cofinance.

The new attraction "The Route of Cheese" is developed and co-financed by New Thracian Gold during  the period November 2011 - August 2012. The aim is through demonstrations of traditional farming and production techniques and tasting of home-made products to attract more visitors to the region. Visitors who will spend money in the regional economy and help improving this way the living standard of the local population.  

The project plan of the Huskov family is approved for funding under the Operational Program Rural Development and the family  will renovate a guest house in Pelevun village.

The Huskovs have a herd of 280 female sheep  since 2004. In 2011, Miroslav Huskov won a competition of Green Balkan, financed by the German Foundation EURONATUR, for farmers in areas with a high biodiversity (Natura 2000 and Green Belt).

The village of Pelevun is located between the two hills of the Eastern Rhodopes at the foot of Sveti Ilia peak, which is called "Barchinkata" by the locals. It is the second largest village in the Municipality of Ivaylovgrad. Near the village (in the "Chairite" area) there are the remains of Thracian dolmen, declared as the largest one found so far. A few kilometers from the village one can visit the ruins of the medieval fortress "Lyutitsa" and the Roman villa Armira which is famous for its mosaics. Nearby is the "Byala Reka Meanders" protected nature site. A feeding site for  Black Vulture, Bulgaria’s rarest vulture, was built a few kilometers from the village. In the area of the village of Kostilkovo the NTG-team released a Karakachan horse herd as a nature management tool.

The main livelihood  of the local population is agriculture, particularly  livestock and tobacco. Traditionally, sesame is grown as well, from which sesame tahini is produced. Several Pelevun farmers, including Huskov family, try to follow the example of two other Eastern Rhodopean villages – Gorno Pole and Rabovo -  in combining agriculture with rural tourism.


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